Bear in Love

( 2 )

Overview

Could the bear have a secret friend? Who is leaving him surprises? The ever-lovable Daniel Pinkwater spins a funny and sweetly offbeat story.

One morning, the bear finds something just outside his cave. It is orange and long and pointy and has bushy green leaves at one end. And it’s sweet and crunchy! Where did it come from? Did someone leave it for him? Then there are two more of the sweet crunchy things the next morning! The bear knows that someone nice is leaving him these ...

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Overview

Could the bear have a secret friend? Who is leaving him surprises? The ever-lovable Daniel Pinkwater spins a funny and sweetly offbeat story.

One morning, the bear finds something just outside his cave. It is orange and long and pointy and has bushy green leaves at one end. And it’s sweet and crunchy! Where did it come from? Did someone leave it for him? Then there are two more of the sweet crunchy things the next morning! The bear knows that someone nice is leaving him these treats. If only he could discover who it is! Should he leave something tasty in return? With the help of Will Hillenbrand’s endearing illustrations, the inimitable Daniel Pinkwater spins a charming little mystery about unexpected kindnesses and finding that extra-special someone.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pinkwater’s (Beautiful Yetta) impulsive, happy-go-lucky bear keeps finding carrots on a flat rock outside his cave, left by some anonymous well-wisher. After days of this, the bear places honeycomb on the rock as a lure (“He wanted to see who had left him the nice things”), and pretty soon there’s a full-scale war of random acts of kindness going on. In a nod to Pooh, Pinkwater’s bear sings to himself quite often—“Someone must like me/ Someone is nice/ Very good, yum yum yum/ Someone is nice”—and much attention is paid to the deliciousness of each treat. Hillen-brand’s (Kite Day) cheery mixed-media spreads draw little attention to themselves, and there isn’t a hint of menace or darkness. Only the pacing seems off: by the time the mystery is solved (spoiler: it’s a rabbit) the story is over, although it’s clear that the relationship is just beginning. Yet Pinkwater’s talent for creating loveable characters and his unalloyed sense of goodness make it work. Ages 2–6. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
The simple story’s design is nicely romanticized, with full-bleed, lightly sketched forest backgrounds spread out over long pages, with the placid action depicted in mixed-media browns and greens with gentle highlights. The book’s Pooh-like charm protects it from preciousness and makes for a tender tale about the satisfaction to be found in a fond, contented relationship.
—Booklist
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One morning, a bear who lives in a cave in the woods finds something strange outside. It is long, orange, and pointy, with bushy green leaves at one end. Young readers will of course recognize a carrot. When he nibbles it, he finds it tasty. He goes off singing a "very good..." song. The next day, when he finds two more of the strange, tasty things, he wonders who could have left them. And off he goes, singing a song of "I wonder who...." On the third morning, he enjoys three, and sings a song of "someone...nice..." and sings again the next day when he finds a whole bunch. Discovering honey in a bee tree, he decides to save some for his mysterious new friend. In its place, he finds a flower. Next, his gift of blueberries is replaced by a cookie. "Extra special..." he sings. Finally the bear meets his special friend, and they can sing together. The hero of this gentle story is an appealing, speculating bear who is happy to accept gifts from a stranger. Mixed media provide sketchy backgrounds for the cuddly, plump bear and eventually an equally attractive bunny. Humor and emotion combine in a story and visuals reminiscent of Winnie-the-Pooh. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS—A bear awakes in his cave one morning and goes outside to look for food. On a rock nearby is an orange, pointy thing with green leaves at one end. He ventures to eat it and finds it, "Very good, yum, yum, yum; Very good indeed." After two more carrots are left on his rock, the bear decides to reciprocate with a something of his own-a honeycomb. He also tries to stay awake to see who the mysterious someone is who is leaving him presents, but he falls asleep instead. After two more exchanges, the bear and a shy bunny finally meet and contentedly share their mutual love of songs and food, on their way to what looks like a beautiful friendship. Pinkwater demonstrates a deft gift for writing for very young children, and the book is made more special by Hillenbrand's lovely pastel illustrations. They show the bear in the foreground in solid but subdued color against a delicate, barely discernible pattern of gray blue trees (and an occasional glimpse of bunny ears). The bear and the rabbit are very appealing, and the book as a whole begs to be read in storytime, possibly with other tales of unusual friendships.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Kirkus Reviews
A friendly little whodunit results in an unexpected romance between a bear and a bunny. Bear lives in "a little cave, just big enough for him," but it turns out that he has room for companionship. One morning he comes across a carrot lying on a flat rock, and not sure what it is, the bear decides to take a nibble. Delighted, he walks through the woods singing a song evocative of Winnie-the-Pooh's hums. Two carrots appear the next day, and Bear begins to wonder who has left them. "Crunchy things! Three of them!" he exclaims on day three, and then he finds a whole pile of carrots on the fourth day. "Someone must like me to leave these good things," he muses, and then he stumbles across a honey tree and decides to bring a piece of honeycomb for his secret admirer. This act of reciprocity instigates an ongoing gift exchange, culminating when the bear finds a bunny hiding in a bush. Mutual admiration overflows as the no-longer-secret admirers offer appreciation for the gifts they exchanged and then join in song at book's end. While the story is awfully sweet, Hillenbrand's mixed-media illustrations are what distinguish this picture book. Faintly rendered backgrounds offset characters and foreground settings, lending a truly fresh look to the compositions. There's lots to love here. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763645694
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 447,978
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Pinkwater is the author of Mrs. Noodlekugel and many other books for children. Not all of his friends are human beings (the species to which Daniel Pinkwater belongs). He knows that friendship can be sweet and crunchy, even when the friend is quite different from oneself. Daniel Pinkwater lives in New York State.

Will Hillenbrand has written and illustrated dozens of books, including Don’t Slam the Door! by Dori Chaconas, Baby Dragon by Amy Ehrlich, This Little Piggy by Jane Yolen, and Kiss the Cow! by Phyllis Root. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loveable bear ambles along finding a friend

    When you first pick up Bear in Love you will fall totally in love with these delightful, loveable, gentle illustrations of bear as he ambles along through his day. Illustrator Will Hillenbrand has portrayed bear as a gentle giant and loveable critter for the young child to whom you will be reading this book. Most children have a stuffed teddy bear that they already love. So it is somewhat an understatement that they love bears already. Well, here is another that they will love. There are teddy bear stories abounding in libraries and book stores - example: Winnie the Pooh, that beloved Pooh-bear. So it is not a far stretch to say that the child in your life will fall in love with 'bear' in Bear in Love. Author Daniel Pinkwater understands children and what they like to hear and see in a story. So he has created a gentle bear who awakens to a gift from an unknown friend. A friend he wants to engage. A friend whom he, too, tries to befriend with a gift. Amble along with bear as he discovers his new friend. Enjoy the beautiful illustrations. Have the child to whom you are reading this book discover details in the art and in the story that enlighten and teach. Enjoy! DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of this delightful hardcover book by Candlewick Press for the purpose of rendering my honest, unsolicited review. I was under no obligation to speak positively of the book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2013

    My granddaughter (3 years old) absolutely loves this book.  I  


    My granddaughter (3 years old) absolutely loves this book.  I  believe it is the theme that Bear has a secret friend that surprises him with gifts, that she likes the most.  She often quotes lines from this book throughout her daily chatter!!

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